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Old 07-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
1611mac
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tips for research reading- notes/search/marks

Hello.. I've casually read ebooks for a time (all public domain stuff) and I'm now getting more serious.

I'm looking for "tips" as I see pros and cons to each type of format, reader, etc. My reading is more for research/education. I want to make copious notes, bookmarks, etc as I read. I want to be able to copy and paste text and do things with it, not merely "read" it. Reference "tools" are nice too.

I'm currently reading on Mac desktop. I'm trying Kindle, eReader, Stanza, Calibre, etc.

Any tips as to software (readers) would be appreciated. Also info on best format for this type of work. (I've been playing with conversions in Calibre)

I accidentally came across a note somewhere that said ePub format stores bookmarks in the file itself. I consider this type of info very important to know, as I read on more than one computer. (I read on my iMac and my MacBookPro)

Any comments and suggestions for this newbie would really be appreciated. The last thing i want to do is build up a big library and not have it be "workable."

thanks

Last edited by 1611mac; 07-12-2010 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:33 AM   #2
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Well, speaking as a fellow Mac user, if you've a 10.5+ Intel Mac, you should download the Barnes & Noble eReader app.

In addition to the B&N store formats, it'll also read DRM-free ePub and eReader (PDB) formats.

And it'll do bookmarks and take notes attached to each "page" (and go to said page when you double-click on the note). You can also highlight in 4 user-selectable colours, copy and quote selected text.

I'm not sure you'd be able to sync your notes and bookmarks between computers, even by the expedient of just copying over the B&N userdata, but at least you can export the notes as a plain text file from within the app itself.

It does have a nasty tendency to crash on certain files (new improved version has been promised for over a month now), but apparently that can be gotten around somewhat by going into the Get Info panel and setting it as a Rosetta app.

So far, I think it's the best available Mac reader for what you want, given that Kindle for Mac can't highlight or take notes or even copy/paste yet, although if you run the slightly more advanced Kindle for PC within Parallels or the like (doesn't work with Wine) you can do those things.

And B&N apparently gives you a few free books (a couple of their annotated classics, plus a Merriam-Webster dictionary) just for signing up an account with them.

ePub doesn't actually store your personal bookmarks in the file, but it does allow for linking back and forth within the file itself for stuff like footnotes and tables of contents and such.

It's also an exceedingly easy format to tweak and convert to anything else you might need.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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Excellent post ATDrake... Thanks! Good info!

Is the B&N eReader app you refer to the same as eReader as found on VersionTracker and other download sites? It's not exclusive to B&N right?

Last edited by 1611mac; 07-13-2010 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:42 AM   #4
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humm... I downloaded the B&N eReader which looks like the ereader.com app with B&N's name on it. The B&N app carries a version 1.1 (copyright B&N 2009) the other eReader app is version 2.7fp copyright 2002-2008 Palm Digital Media. But they appear to be the same app. with the exact same features.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:33 AM   #5
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I'm currently thinking that since I'm on the desktop, and I want to markup, search, etc, etc, the best thing to do is convert to RTF and simply read in my normal text editor (Word). That way I could the Mac's search tool to do global text searches, etc,.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1611mac View Post
The B&N app carries a version 1.1 (copyright B&N 2009) the other eReader app is version 2.7fp copyright 2002-2008 Palm Digital Media. But they appear to be the same app. with the exact same features.
Almost, but not quite.

B&N 1.1 app is slightly more advanced (and buggy), with the capability to read ePub. The 2.7fp app only does eReader format, but on the other hand, it still works on a PPC Mac running 10.4 (I use it on my old PowerBook).

It turns out that the notes you make are stored in the *.kz file corresponding to the book's filename in the B&N userdata folder in Documents, so you can copy it back and forth as needed.

And the reason why they give you the free M-W mini dictionary is to show off the lookup function in their eReader app (details in the user guide, which I finally got around to reading).

You can search in the B&N app, too, and it's got a semi-useful option to only search forward from the page you're at, so if you're looking for further mentions of a term that's already been used before, it could come in handy.

But if you'd be more comfortable reading & searching in Word, by all means go ahead. It's likely got more advanced functions for that sort of thing and might better fit your needs.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great info. ... well... converted the current book I'm reading (A Patriot's History of the United States) to RTF format. It works well in OSX's TextEdit but returns an error in Word. I suspect it's too long for Word as I edited into two smaller files that then loaded fine. I'll have to check max file size for word......

Again, thanks for the good info on the B&N app.
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